We take a break from Frankie and Joni and the adventures of Fluffernutter for a little Halloween season fun with three dark drabbles. But fear not, Frankie and Joni will return.
Once, in the forest of time, our people followed the Great River. We camped on its banks, fished in its waters, hunted game on the surrounding plains, or in the shadows of its woodland. We lived in peace. We were content.
Then came the time of no rains. When the grass dried and the trees died. When the people of the Far City stole our river, and we went to war.
A war we lost.
Our surviving people scattered, migrating to the distant corners of the kingdom. All that remains of us, of the river, is dry dust and ghosts.
Gather round, children, as I tell of the horrors that lie beyond our home.
Once we were alone in this land. We had no restrictions, we roamed freely. We made homes where we pleased, not simply here in the mountains. We did not hide.
Until they came. Until they drove us from the land with their weapons, their war.
Once we flew in the skies unfettered. Now we are hunted, our wings torn, our bodies maimed. We are killed. Our enemies are monsters.
Remember this, children. Never approach the humans. Always avoid them, their villages. Dragonkind must be ever vigilant.
Time and Tide
The wide, unfathomable sea. It calls to sailors, and buries their bones in its cold, murky embrace. Great ocean storms swallow ships whole, yet sometimes it gives back. Bits and bodies carried to the shores and beaches. But sometimes it keeps what it claims.
And sometimes who it claims doesn’t quite die.
Submerged in the depths, the spirits wait. Their whispers ride the waves. Their anger fuels the storms. They howl under moonlight and exist in perpetuity, as hours pass into days, and days into decades. And immortality breeds patience.
Our time will come.
We will rise.
Fear the day.
Fluffy vs. Fluffernutter
“Why is there a fluffy rat on a wheeled cheese board in the VR room?” I glared at Frankie from the doorway.
“He’s not a rat, he’s a guinea pig. And it’s a dolly, not a cheeseboard.” Frankie rolled his eyes at me.
“I don’t care what they’re called!” I threw up my hands. “Why are they here?”
Frankie shrugged. “Fluffernutter needed a friend.”
I glanced back. “The way that cat’s looking at the rat thing, he thinks it’s dinner.”
The rodent stared at me with big eyes and a squeak that clearly said, “Help me.”
I sighed. Stupid cat.
Not For Dinner
“Frankie! Get that cat out of here!” My shout echoed throughout the VR room as I glared down at the howling cat trying to climb the wall. I was perched on a precarious rigging, clutching a terrified guinea pig. Scratches on his nose and my hand told of our narrow escape.
Frankie rushed in, exclaiming, “What did you do to upset Fluffernutter?” He scooped the cat in his arms. Fluffernutter hissed at him.
“He tried to eat Fluffy!” I petted the trembling creature.
“He did! Take that cat out of here!”
Frankie glared, but left with the cat.
“Where’s Fluffernutter?” Frankie poked me. “What did you do to him?”
“What? Nothing. I thankfully haven’t seen that cat all day.” Then I noticed the empty box. “Where’s Fluffy?” I glared at Frankie. “If that cat’s done…” A howl interrupted us and we raced to see what was going on.
In the corner past the VR room, near an open panel, lay Fluffernutter. He was alive, but half the fur was singed off his body. Fluffy sat a foot away, unharmed.
Frankie wailed, “Oh, my poor Fluffernutter!”
I eyed Fluffy, who calmly licked a tiny paw, and I swear, smiled.